I’m really not quite sure if I’ve ever heard anything from Skip Bayless before yesterday that I’ve actually agreed with. Not that I make a habit out of watching him, but he has a pretty terrible track record. But he said something about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that I think rings a note of truth.
During a segment of Undisputed, following Shannon Sharpe piling on the quarterback while making a passionate defense of Le’Veon Bell (and Antonio Brown by extension), Bayless fired back by making the case that he and those like him are fueling Roethlisberger for a big season.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) March 21, 2019
“You know what I think you’re on your way to doing? I believe you’re on your way to talking Big Ben Roethlisberger into winning next year’s MVP in the National Football League”, Bayless said. “I’m gonna make him right now my early favorite for MVP, just because of all of the above”.
I don’t know about the MVP Award, but he is certainly capable of achieving that plateau, and he has been in the running before. While he led the NFL with 16 interceptions, he also led in passing yards and set a new franchise record for passing touchdowns.
“It has become open season on a guy who’s played three Super Bowls and won two of those Super Bowls. And this is a quarterback, open season on him, who’s been to six Pro Bowls, and who last year finished third in the NFL in QBR”, Bayless said.
“Open season on this guy. He’s the reason the Steelers missed the playoffs last year”, he said sarcastically, “even though he is a guy who in the postseason is 13-8. That’s the sixth-most all-time wins of a quarterback in the postseason”.
Virtually all of the criticism of Roethlisberger has been fueled by Bell and Brown through their parting shots against the organization on their way out the door. Brown was still trying to get traded when he made his comments, but it’s less obvious why Bell chose to pile on.
“They have made him the scapegoat of what happened to last year’s Pittsburgh Steelers, and you are actually letting them get away with that”, Bayless told Sharpe. “And you want to know the truth? Both of those guys, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, they will miss being Pittsburgh Steelers. Sooner than later, they will miss it. They won’t admit it publicly, but they’ll look back on their days saying ‘it was pretty great there’”.
Would any of us be surprised if Brown and Bell end up regretting their time with the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets when all is said and done, and about how things ended in Pittsburgh? They wouldn’t be the first who look back on their career and only see a young man being stubborn rather than standing on his principles.